March 11, 2020. A historic date for the NBA. That evening, Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19, he became the first player in the league to be, and the NBA decided to suspend not only the Jazz game against the Thunder, but the entire regular season. !
A decision taken almost at the last moment, while the players and referees were on the floor. Donovan Mitchell shared the sequel on JJ Reddick’s podcast.
“I wouldn’t say it was panic in the locker room”remembers the Cleveland fullback. “We were mainly wondering what we could do now that we were here. »
Thanks to Chris Paul, who was playing in Oklahoma City at the time, the Jazz and Thunder players pretty much occupied their evening, which was very long since they were stuck in the locker room for nine hours! “Special dedication to Chris Paul who managed 15 bottles of wine that evening. We had to eat and drink. »
Players now on technical unemployment and wine in abundance, one can imagine the rest of the evening… The All-Star of the Cavaliers does not hide the truth: neither the alcohol nor the fear that existed in the locker room.
“I’m not going to tell a story: we were drunk. We weren’t going to play this match, nor the others for quite a while. We all make video calls. We were all seated, not knowing what was going to happen. We drank to forget, to not be afraid in a way. We were defenseless. I will never forget this evening. I have pictures in my phone that I’m going to put in frames at home, to tell my children that this was one of the greatest moments in the history of sport in our country. »